In the Still of the Night

Categories:Preschool Years

In the still of the night I am a more gentle, compassionate, patient, and tender parent than I am otherwise. And I can say that now as the mother of a six year-old and a three year-old, who – for the most part – are good sleepers in their own beds. So I beg the pardon of any new parents who are slugging through some of the hardest days I’ve ever encountered; your plight is blessed and almost intolerable. Chris and I have had some of our most heated exchanges in the wee hours of virtually sleepless nights. I also ask the forgiveness of any who have little ones who don’t sleep well. I can only write this post because it is a fairly rare occurrence that my beauty rest is disturbed.

And I only make this observation because it is so counterintuitive, especially given how much I treasure my sleep. But with this mystery malady (fever, cough, runny nose, hurtin’ tummies) the girls have contracted, there has been increased nocturnal activity around our house. And I love to swoop in as the midnight superhero to hold and snuggle and reassure and comfort. Campbell has nightmares, and I find great pleasure in wrapping myself around her to make her feel safe and secure. She slept on top of me on the couch for a portion of last night. Carson awoke in the wee of the day feeling puny, and I savored tucking her in right beside me to help her settle back into the rest her little body needs. There is something about the innocence and vulnerability of their sleepy, puffy faces wet with tears and their preciously unruly bed hair. The mischief of the day is gone; the defiance has drained away and is replaced by pure dependence and need.

I, in some half-awake way, enjoy scooping them up in the grey of our scantily lit house and pouring out love and security and safety the best way I know how. And I think this is such a dear time to me because I vividly remember many nights – during all seasons of my life – where I was unable to sleep and felt some of the most acute loneliness and fear that I’ve ever felt. And they’ll experience that too, but it won’t be on their momma’s watch…

And I am struck by my own dim understanding of His tenderness toward us when we approach with tear-stained dependence and vulnerability, all defiance having faded away…

Lone Cypress, Warped Time, Shocked Hair & Other Bizarreness

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